Interactive Fiction and an Interview with Emily Short

by Rachel Baker on November 8, 2013

I ran across this great article about Interactive Fiction on the huffington post, and thought I’d share it. For the most part, it addresses an area of fiction I’ve started really considering over the last few years.

Without further ado, the two part series about Interactive Fiction (IF) and an indepth look at Emily Short and her recently published Counterfeit Monkey, which is a book length IF.

Although some IF includes limited graphics, most consist of a text-accepting, text-generating computer program called a parser. As such, interactive fiction may be the first and, possibly, last bastion for “pure” written language in software-generated worlds.

In his book Twisty Little Passages: an Approach to Interactive Fiction, writer/scholar Nick Montfort relates interactive fiction to various literary antecedents including riddles, literary machines like the I-Ching and the algorithmic experiments of the Oulipo group, and poetry. The relationship to the latter is not as far-fetched as it might sound. Poetry pushes the boundaries of language. In making novel associations between words and between ideas, it alters our perception and, in doing so, re-creates/rearranges the world according to its own logic.

Take some time to check out Part 1 and then Part 2 of the series.

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